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Meet Oscar Velay

Today we’d like to introduce you to Oscar Velay.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I grew up in Denmark and then slowly, in my late teen years began to realize I was destined to live a life on my conformation. Since then, I’ve tried out different startup ideas (and failed successfully), lived in a few countries, and traveled to many corners of my mind. What I find specifically in California is a place with such an abundance of people who strive for something bigger than themselves. People who care for themselves and their surroundings and stand for what is right. I meet so many people that inspire me.

The funny thing is that I didn’t use to be like this – I remember most of my past as me being a pessimistic, reserved and cynical person. I hated my childhood and couldn’t remember anything from age 12 and down. I also got bullied so much. Now as my perception of the world and myself has changed, it not only has a strong effect on my present and future but has also changed my past. I see all the positive things now in my past that previously were obscured.

When it comes to photography, it started when my dad gave me a camera when I was 12 or so. A Canon Powershot something, but it took me eight years before I genuinely started taking it “serious” (Art shouldn’t be serious, it should be fun – but what I mean is that I began to dedicate real time into shooting). I started shooting architecture and cars, but I felt like it was empty and missing something. Portraits introduce me to new faces and experiences adding a whole new dimension.

Then my grandad gave me a film camera and introduced me to film, I began to shoot even more. I shoot mostly film now. It allows me to spend more time on the field than behind a screen editing photos.

If you are a photographer or artist and wondering how to work with “famous” people or musicians, just write to them with no expectations. People idolize these people too much – putting them on a higher place than themselves. These people are still humans. Don’t think you can’t work with an artist just because you think they’re better than you. DM them on Instagram, that’s what I did – and I don’t have a massive following either. I’ve made and met countless friends and inspiring people this way.

I lose more by staying in line and being comfortable than trying to make the jump and taking risks. There are no bad outcomes, either you learn something or you earn something.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I’ve had so many struggles with myself – anxiety being the biggest one – the core of my imbalance. I still have anxiety, but now it’s more like a friend visiting me. I can have tea with him, but I’m not gonna let him be part of how I live my life. What I found out was that I wasn’t anxiety – that I shouldn’t identify anxiety as being me. It’s a separate entity. This goes with all emotions – I’m only angry if I identify myself with it.

I’ve used this mentality to free myself from the many inhibitors that I used to believe was a part of me.

This actually goes hand in hand with what many artists go through – the phase of “finding your style” – which in reality just means: “I don’t feel comfortable enough with this or myself to commit to a strong opinion/decision”. This took four years of dedicated work for me to come to a point where I’m not afraid of letting go and do what feels right.

I strive for perfection, but I rarely come close. Perfection is impossible and with that in mind as long as I am having a good time and producing dope shit, that’s all that matters.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I do mostly music artist photoshoots / PR – so photographer and playing creative director (what does that title even mean??)

99% of my work is on 35mm film but I don’t discriminate digital.

I’m a sucker for catching those candid moments where people are in their zone, workflow, and emanating their energy. I would rather have my shoots be a story or an experience than some commercialized representation of reality.

Another big focus point with any of my creative work and projects – is being able to work in a way that is healthy for everyone involved. When money and time are the priorities the work, dynamic and quality suffer. I just wanna show you to the world unfiltered.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I have so many things planned ahead, but I’m taking it one step at a time – I have learned from my mistakes. Doing everything at once is doing nothing at all.

I’m going to have more influence on the music/fashion industry in 2021 and I’ll be releasing my biggest project for now at the end of 2020.

I was also going to write that I have a vision of the place I want to be at – that serves the purpose of being my driving force. As I was writing this, I had an epiphany; my vision is not a future place I want to be at – my vision is to keep putting energy into my life and the things that matter to me every day. I feel like that is a better way of putting it because what would be ridiculous is to think I’ll only be happy when I reach the mountain top. After all, the journey is what life consists of.

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